By Bashir Mohammed
Managing Director of Fidelity Bank plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okwonkwo, has said that the bank had supported small and medium enterprises to grow with the initial disbursement of N1.2 billion to small and medium entrepreneurs across the country, and that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earmarked the sum of N220 billion for disbursement to small and medium entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the Northern Regional Conference held in Kano yesterday, Okonkwo said about forty million Nigerians had so far benefitted from the loan disbursed by the Fidelity Bank nationwide and that the beneficiaries had started honouring their obligations.
According to him, the Fidelity Bank was teaching small and medium entrepreneurs to package their businesses and secure unimpeded access to the markets adding that the Bank had about 223 branches all over the country.
Also speaking, Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, expressed the determination of his administration to support small and medium enterprises to wax stronger at the time the influence of oil is waning in the International market.
He said his administration had taken the decision to overhaul the operations of the state Board of Internal Revenue for greater efficiency in line with the new tax regime policy, stressing that small and medium entrepreneurs had a spectacular role to play in boosting the revenue base of the state government.
He, however, said the Regional Conference had afforded the target audience the opportunity to embrace the skills of forging ahead without hiccups stressing that the Fidelity Bank must be commended for initiating the laudable programme.
In his remarks, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, stressed the importance of utilising the opportunity given to small and medium entrepreneurs by Fidelity Bank and the money to be disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying the nation’s economy would benefit from the skills initiated in that direction.